Iraq Protesters Burn US Flag During Biden Visit

Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr mock veep's reconciliation tour
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2009 2:15 PM CDT
Vice President Joseph Biden, left, US Ambassador Christopher Hill, center, and Gen. Ray Odierno are seen at a military base near Baghdad today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to promote reconciliation among Iraqis was met today with protests by supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Reuters reports. Demonstrators burned American flags and shouted anti-US slogans. Biden plans to meet with PM Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani to assess plans to heal the fractious divides, but first had breakfast with his son Beau, serving with the US military there.

Iraqis seem not to have forgotten then-Sen. Biden’s plan to divide Iraq into provinces segregated by religious sect: “Biden has come here to divide Iraq according to his plan,” taunted a message from Sadr himself, and spread by sympathetic imams.